MUKAH, Nov 11 — Sarawak’s Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan today reminded voters in the state to remember the time when billions of ringgit’s worth of federal-funded development projects in the state were withdrawn after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) captured Putrajaya in the 2018 general election.
He said these projects, including bridges, roads and water and electricity supplies meant for the rural areas, were approved during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration prior to 2018.
“We should always remember how the PH federal government treated Sarawak,” he said at the handing over of titles to owners of agricultural lands in Jalan Matadeng area.
He said there were two Members of Parliament from Sarawak, one was appointed as a full minister and the other, the deputy minister.
“What did they do? We didn’t know. But when the PH ruled for 22 months, projects that were approved for Sarawak earlier, were withdrawn by the PH government,” he said.
He said the projects included the construction of major Batang Lassa, Batang Igan, Batang Paloh and Batang Kemena bridges.
“I know all this because I was in the Regional Corridor Development Agency and I applied for funds from the federal government for Batang Kemena bridge, costing almost RM400 million,” Awang Tengah said.
He said he knew water and electricity projects were cancelled and allocations were withdrawn because he was the chairman of the task force committee for utilities in Sarawak
He said the electricity and water supply projects for the benefit of the rural population were in the midst of being implemented when the PH government withdrew the funding.
As a result, he said the contractors were forced to stop work.
“I want to make it very clear that it is not because of this 15th general election that I bring these up. These are facts. I got all the figures,” Awang Tengah, who is also the state minister of international trade and industry and industrial terminal, said.
He said the state government, for the sake of the public interest, took over the implementation of the projects cancelled by the PH government.
“For the electricity supply, the state government has allocated RM2.8 billion and water projects over RM4 billion,” he said.
He said Sarawak has every right to receive more allocations from the federal government for the development of infrastructures, such as bridges, roads, water and electricity supplies and telecommunication.
“We also have the right to have educational infrastructures so that our children can continue with their study in a conducive atmosphere,” he said.
Awang Tengah, who is also PBB deputy president, cautioned the people not to be emotional or easily influenced by the Opposition parties with their sweet, but empty promises, when they cast their votes on November 19.